Thursday, June 30, 2016

Foucault against the left

"It is not difficult to discern Foucault’s animosity toward the post-war Left project. Obviously he was very hostile to Marxism. In an interview for a Japanese journal titled “How to Get Rid of Marxism,” he openly described Marxism as nothing more than “a modality of power in an elementary sense.” He elaborates: “the fact that Marxism has contributed to and still contributes to the impoverishment of the political imaginary, this is our starting point.” In another interview with the “new philosopher” Bernard Henri-Levy, he discusses the question of revolution. For Foucault in 1977, “the return of the revolution, that’s our problem (…) You know it very well: it’s the desire itself of the revolution that is a problem.” This assertion is very interesting, as Foucault not only dismisses the idea of revolution but also makes a subtle reference to its return in the context of the union of the Left and its expected victory in the legislative elections of 1978."